Thursday, April 5, 2012

Author, Author all about it!!    Thursday April 5th

Thanks for joining us and please welcome a terrific author,

Suzanne Barrett

Hi Suzanne and welcome.  Would you start by telling us a little about yourself...

I'm California-born but have lived in a number of states. I went to school in California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri. After a career in engineering, I left Corporate America to write full time. I divide my time between writing, jewelry design,gardening and teaching water fitness. I love early music, British mysteries, gourmet cooking, cats and staying at home. I write content for and maintain an Irish Travel website( in addition to my jewelry site( and my author site(

 What or who initially inspired you to become a writer?
 Since childhood I've always enjoyed writing, but my foray into writing romance fiction came after reading LaVyrle Spencer's"Hummingbird". I had read many other romantic stories, but hers resonated with me and made me wonder if I could write a romance. I began my first story in early 1989, a few days after purchasing my first computer.

What kind of research do you do for a novel and how extensive do you get?
Some of my research is extensive. For In Love and War, which is a contemporary set in Ireland, I spent part of a winter in the little Co. Waterford town of Cappoquin where I interviewed dairy farmers, cheese makers, villagers, even a couple of old ex-IRA men in a local pub. When I wrote Taming Rowan, a story set in Northern England, I had the area research down because at one time we were going to move there. My heroine is a structural engineer who's sent to England to design an antenna support platform. I got the idea when I was...wait for it...working on an antenna support platform here in the States.
My most ambitious research project has been for A Terrible Beauty, a story set in Ireland between the time of the Easter Rising and the formation of the Irish Free State (1924). This involved another trip to Ireland, and obscene investment in Irish history books from Kenny's in Galway, tours of countless battle sites, greathouses, and a course in weaponry. There was also a tremendous amount of research in the local culture, products of the time, even automobile colors. With history so recent, you have to be accurate. So, if anyone wants to know what cigarettes were smoked, what was the favorite chocolate of the time or what color a Silver Stream automobile was likely to be, just ask.:-)

Do you have a special place you like to do your writing? Such as an office, a spare room, the dining room table, your couch?
 I have an office in my house. It's an 11 x 14 room off the kitchen with a sliding glass door onto a deck with a pergola. Beyond that is our meadow and orchard. My computer is a desktop with a flat screen, so I'm pretty much stuck in a computer chair. However, I have a comfy down sofa at one end of the room and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves along one wall.

As a reader, what types of works do you like to read and do you think they influence the genre/genres you write in?
I read romantic suspense, British sagas, women's fiction, historical fiction, biographies and political books. Each has some influence in what I write.

What is your favorite method of in laptop, desktop, Ipad or the old fashioned pencil and paper?? And do you plot out your story or go with the flow of your muse?
 I write on the computer. I have arthritis and carpal tunnel which makes paper and pen writing difficult. I have a rough outline and a GMC for each protagonist, but generally I'm a pantster.

When you need a break or some time off from the trials of being a writer, what can you be found doing?
Making jewelry or digging in the dirt or trekking out to watch my chickens (believe it or not, watching chickens is very relaxing). And then there are the trips to the gym. The treadmill and exercise bikes are great venues for reading on my Kindle.

Is there anything about yourself nobody knows that you would like to share with our readers??
 I'm terrified of needles but pierced my own ears(my parents were horrified). I trained to be a shot putter.

For fun, I have a few personal questions,
Your Favorite 5
1) Favorite color - Green
2) Favorite dessert – Lemon Sponge
3) Favorite Season - Autumn
4) Favorite sad song- Sonny (I like the Liam Clancy version, also the one by Emmy Lou Harris, Dolores Keane and Mary Black) 
5) Favorite Romantic movie - Reckless(the Robson Green, Francesca Annis film)

And a bonus, what is your ideal romantic vacation??
A trip to Ireland

Where can our readers find you??

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it?
Risking it All (available as of 3/12/12)
Loving Luke will release in May
Both available from Turquoise Morning Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and several digital outlets.

Pushed out of his own start-up company, Tom McKittrick is ready to lickhis wounds in private at the rural family estate he’s inherited. But heisn’t prepared for his Garden of Eden to have a built-in Eve­a reclusivenaturalist with a long-term lease on the caretaker’s cottage, a knack forgardening, and an incredibly beautiful face.

April Fairchild is not about to let Tom McKittrick order her out of thehome that has been her cozy retreat from the world. But she has to feel sorry for him ­the corporate bigwig is clearly out of his element in,well, the elements. April knows she can teach this hunky guy a thing or two about how to relax. All she has to do is sow the seeds of romance…and let nature take its course.

Before we let you go today Suzanne, do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share? I like to cook and am always looking for new recipes to try and share.

Lemon Sponge
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
pinch cream of tarter
sifted confectioners' sugar (optional)
Using an electric mixer, cream butter together with sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, the lemon juice, and the flour, the lemon rind, and the salt. Combine mixture well.
 Add milk in a stream, beating, and combine well. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tarter until they hold stiff peaks. Stir one forth of the whites into the lemon mixture. Fold in remainder of whites gently,and transfer the mixture to a buttered 1 1/2-quart glass souffle dish.Set the dish in a deep pan, adding enough boiling water to pan to reach halfway up the sides of the souffle dish. Bake dessert in a preheated 350degree F. oven for 50 minutes, or until it is puffed and the top golden.
 Sift confectioners' sugar over top and serve dessert warm or chilled.(The sponge will separate, forming a custard sauce on the bottom.)

Spoon the top onto dessert plates, and spoon sauce over each serving. This is my all-time favorite dessert!

Seriously, I cannot wait to try your Lemom Sponge, it sounds sooooooo good.  Thanks again Suzanne for being with us today. It was great to learn more about you.  I hope you'll stop by anytime!

Readers, don't miss out on Risking It All, get your copy today and keep an eye out for the release of Loving Luke to grace our stores soon. 

Happy reading,


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